Book Review: Kaffe Knits Again

November 19th, 2007 | View Comments

Cover of Kaffe Knits Again

Author: Kaffe Fassett
Publisher: Potter Craft
Rating: 3.5 Skeins
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For all my book reviews prior to this, I have either bought the books myself or they were given to me as gifts. This review is different, as Potter Craft was kind enough to send me a review copy of Kaffe Knits Again. I don’t think this has biased my view of the book in any way, but I thought I would share this information in the interest of full disclosure.

This book is my introduction to Kaffe Fassett. I had heard of him, read a few interviews, and even glimpsed a few patterns of his here and there, but he was the nebulous entity in the back of my head known as The Color Guy. And now that this book has introduced me to Kaffe Fassett, I have to say, he’s definitely The Color Guy.

My own approach to color isn’t all that different from say, Franklin’s. I like monochromatic. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll go for a complementary color scheme. Or a split-complementary color scheme. Either way, I max out at about three colors—hard to screw up, few color changes. So it seems like Mr. Fassett’s speaking to me with this paragraph from the introduction:

I pour my heart and soul into my designs, so I am disappointed when they are dismissed by even experienced knitters as too difficult to attempt. With this book I am giving all nervous knitters the opportunity to try out color knitting. Using current Rowan yarns, I’ve reinterpreted some of my favorite patterns from years past that deserve a second chance.

And try out color knitting you will! Of the 24 projects in his book, including pullovers, vests, cardigans, cushions, and throws, there isn’t a single one that requires fewer than five colors (Dark Daisy) and at least one project that requires 23 colors (Foolish Virgins Scarf). There is one pullover that uses simple stripes, but everything else requires intarsia or stranded knitting or both. His color selections are bold and high contrast, though a couple of the projects do take a softer approach.

A note on sizing: there are only a few sizes for each sweater (some only have one size) and they tend to run small. But there are plenty of non-sweater items for people who don’t fit into those size ranges, or for people who love to knit with color, but don’t like to wear it.

The photographs of the projects are gorgeous—full-page and full-color, beautifully styled and shot. Most of the projects can be seen from multiple angles. All the throws and cushions and a few of the sweaters have been photographed flat so you can easily see how the complicated color patterns are supposed to turn out. The color charts are necessarily tiny, but they should be easy to enlarge on a photocopier as the book’s binding lets the pages open wide and sit flat.

Pick of the Projects:

Foolish Virgins Scarf Foolish Virgins Scarf. This is the aforementioned project that requires 23 colors. It’s an eye-catching sampler of color patterns, some more intricate, some less. One of the patterns makes a reappearance in the Tumbling Blocks vest elsewhere in the book. It uses both intarsia and Fair Isle techniques, so it definitely makes for interesting knitting!

Big Flower Throw Big Flower Throw. This is my favorite project from the book; I’m a sucker for lotuses. It’s a narrow throw designed for a chair, knit from chunky yarn and doubled dk-weight. You could also adapt the color chart to make a scarf or a wider blanket.

If you’re a bit color-shy but like the basic designs, you can always adapt some of the projects to use fewer colors. Take, for example, the Brocade Throw.

Brocade Throw from Kaffe Knits Again I love the brocade pattern on this throw, but am a little nervous about the number and combination of colors in the pattern as written. But I think I would knit it in just black, white, and a few shades of grey for a very high-contrast, graphic look. On the other hand, if I do that, I’m not knitting a Kaffe Fassett!

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CogKnition posted this on November 19th, 2007 @ 12:36am in Book Reviews | Permalink to "Kaffe Knits Again"

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